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Consol Energy Center will be topped off on Thursday

The final steel beam will be placed atop the Consol Energy Center on Thursday, one day shy of the first anniversary since construction crews broke ground on the new home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Executives from the Penguins and construction manager P.J. Dick/Hunt announced today that they plan to join city and county politicians at a "topping off" ceremony at the Uptown construction site.

The $355 million arena is slated to open in time for the 2010-11 hockey season. It will replace Mellon Arena, the National Hockey League's oldest venue.

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